BMTC,KSRTC staff see red over bribe allegation

BMTC,KSRTC staff see red over bribe allegation

D C Thammanna

The employees of Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) and Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) on Wednesday described as irresponsible Transport Minister D C Thammanna's allegation that corrupt officers in BMTC were forcing him to clear an agreement on electric buses. They sought a detailed investigation by Lokayukta into the charges.

"You have alleged that BMTC officials were pressuring you to enter an agreement with private companies as they might have taken bribes... Such claims only defame officials who are working without fear or favour," the KSRTC Staff and Workers Federation said in a release.

The BMTC had called tender for leasing 80 electric buses during the previous regime. Thammanna, who took over as the Transport Minister in June, has been holding the tender file since July.

The minister's allegation against BMTC officials came on Tuesday. The employees union hit back on Wednesday, noting that the minister could as well have quashed the tender if he found irregularities in the tender process.

"If you find that the agreement would lead to losses, the corporation's board has the authority to cancel the agreement. Instead of that, you have alleged that officials may have taken bribe.. (such a claim) is unacceptable. For a difference, the BMTC has 'clean officers' in the high position. They are committed to the organisation. A Lokayukta-level probe should be initiated and no officer should be transferred till the investigation is over," said the release signed by General Secretary H V Anantasubbarao .

DH could not reach Thammanna, whose mobile was switched off. His aides did not answer repeated calls.

The Federation took objection to the minister's "interference" in the transfer of officials.  "We have been hearing that there is huge corruption involved in transfers. You have recently directed that all transfers should be brought to your notice. Such orders have not been passed by any transport minister previously. Transfers are administrative matters. Your interference is leading to suspicions," it added.